Northern Marianas Trades Institute chief executive officer Agnes McPhetres said that funding is no longer a problem with the Legislature also doing its share in keeping the trades school’s programs running.
“The Legislature is working really hard. Legislation would be introduced for funding purposes. In my opinion, [we have] no problem with funding with the Legislature finding other ways,” said McPhetres.
“There’s in the law that [Business Gross Revenue Taxes] from the casino should also be going to NMTI. Under the law, we are in there and also the CW1 funding it should go more of that to NMTI,” she added.
NMTI has also implemented various activities that were directed to increase revenues since McPhetres came on board four years ago.
NMTI has been soliciting donations from the local business sector through the CNMI Education Tax Credits, holding various fundraising events like last month’s annual gala, getting allocation and other supplemental budget from the Legislature, and applying for other federal grants.
The said financial resources had helped keep NMTI afloat in order to keep its mission of promoting trades programs in the community.
The funds received are used for the programs, courses, facilities, and operations for NMTI to give its students the learning environment and equipment that would prepare them once they enter the CNMI workforce.
Funds raised in NMTI’s annual gala increased to an estimated amount of $30,000 from $24,000 last year. The gala raised $16,500 in 2016.
These could have been some of the reasons why NMTI’s enrolment resulted to a 10-fold increase. They also boast of a 77-percent job placement rate among their graduates.
Enrollment also increased since school year 2013-2014 where only 63 have availed of their four programs back then. There were 644 students enrolled in SY 2017-2018, a more than 50-percent jump from 317 in the previous SY 2016-2017. SY 2014-2015 had 110 students, while there were 280 enrollees in SY 2015-2016.
Automotive technology, construction technology, culinary arts, and hotel and restaurant operations are programs that are still being offered with the addition of adult technical high school, carpentry, electricity, electronics, electronic systems technician, professionalism heavy equipment operations, heating, ventilation, and air conditioning (HVAC), power generation maintenance (mechanic and electrician), and welding trades.